The Detroit school district is cutting ties with Detroit Popcorn after its now-former owner made incendiary comments about those protesting the death of George Floyd.
“Due to the utterly inappropriate comments made by the owner of Detroit Popcorn, [the Detroit Public Schools Community District] will no longer do business with the company,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I urge other school districts, businesses, and individuals in the area to do the same.”
The Detroit district used the company’s products for school fundraisers, said Chrystal Wilson, spokeswoman for the district.
News reports say Evan Singer, who until recently the owner of the Detroit Popcorn Company, made a comment on social media about protesters, saying in a grammatically challenged post that “they wonder why they need knee’s on there necks)” (sic).
Floyd was killed May 25 in police custody — after a Minneapolis officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck — and his death has inspired protests around the country.
Singer told Fox 2 he didn’t intend the comment to be racist, and that said he made it after watching protesters vandalizing a store. But the damage to Detroit Popcorn, which sells concessions and related supplies, had already been done.
The Detroit News reported Tuesday that a former owner of the popcorn company has repurchased Detroit Popcorn in light of the controversy and would like to sell the company to African American investors.
Singer’s comment prompted the Detroit Zoo to announce it will no longer do business with the company.
“You will no longer see Detroit Popcorn product at the Detroit Zoo,” officials said in a tweet. “Service Systems Associates (SSA), the exclusive service provider for Detroit Zoo concessions, cut ties with Detroit Popcorn this morning immediately after the comments were brought to their attention.
WXYZ reported that Rock Ventures, which owns Quicken Loans, also cut ties with the company.